September 27

Get To the Decision Maker: 4 Strategies to Open Doors and Close More Sales

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Did you know that in today’s competitive marketplace, 80% of your sales proposals will require approval by a Vice President or someone in a higher-level position? That means whether you realize it or not, you are selling to the C-Suite as a sales professional. To get the deal to close, you need to get to the decision maker.

You need their buy-in, approval, and ultimately their signature if you want your deals to move forward and the sale to close. Yet, more than 65% of sales professionals today feel they are underprepared and underperforming when it comes to connecting and selling with that level of decision maker. 

We live in a virtual world; getting people to meet with us has always been difficult, but you add video to it, and it seems twice as hard. Decision-makers at this level are busy. Their time is stretched so thin, and giving it to a salesperson seems to be something other than the highest and best use of something.

So as a sales professional in today’s highly competitive and constantly shifting marketplace, how do you get to the decision maker? How do you get the door to open to close the sale?

4 Strategies to Open More Doors and Close More Sales

1. Build Your Reputation – first and foremost, build your reputation. You need to understand that today’s buyers are 67% of the way through the buying cycle before they ever interact with a salesperson. No wonder sales are so frustrating; you are entering the game at half-time. You need to enter the game where it starts. If you want to open the door to decision makers, know that decision-makers need to have heard of you, your product, your company, and about you, if they are going to do business with you. Why would they give you their time if they do not have some assurance that it will be a smart investment?

2. Solve Their Problem – you need a valid business reason to reach out, so you need to know their industry, know their company, and most importantly, know what their biggest challenges or opportunities are and how to solve them.  Your approach to getting that first meeting needs to be value-based. What will they gain, what will they win, if they give you their time?  An opening like “We have been working in your industry for years and understand that the supply chain is one of the biggest challenges. Here is what we are seeing and working on to solve this issue, and I would love to share some other innovative strategies that have proven effective.” By opening with a valid business reason, you give your decision maker a valid reason to meet with you. 

3. Strategize Decision Makers – if you’re struggling to get through the door with one decision maker in the company, then back up and start to look to others. It will take a village to get this deal to close, so go and find the opening, the decision maker that may have the greatest pain point as it relates to your products and services, and start there.   Also, think about working your strategy from the entry-level up. Is there anyone you know or are connected to in the company who can help you open the door or get the initial meeting?  For a deal to close, you will need the approval of multiple decision makers and those impacted by the opportunity you are providing, so look for your easiest in and begin the process there. 

4. Work Your Network – and last but not least, work your network and work it hard. Begin by being where your decision makers are and look for the opportunity to connect with them on a social level. Attend their industry functions, and hit a golf tournament or two. My husband just made a great connection for me at a Sporting Clays event and made an introduction to the CEO, I have been trying to get through the door with for years. Which leads to my last point, does it have to be you that gets you through the door to the decision maker? The answer is no. The chances that you already have someone within your network connected to your decision maker are very strong, so work your network and have that first introduction made for you.

Getting to the decision maker in today’s marketplace is challenging. If you want an executive to give you time, you need to earn it. If you want an executive to give you their time, they decide where to allocate this precious resource. What is the investment in spending time with you? 

Meridith Elliott Powell


Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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